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German justice minister balks at draft constitutional amendment on hijack shoot-downs

[JURIST] A proposed German constitutional amendment supported by Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble [official profile] that would grant the military the legal authority to shoot down a hijacked aircraft drew opposition Sunday from Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries [official profile, in German]. Zypries told Bild that the Social Democratic Party (SPD) [party website] is against involving the military to bolster domestic security. The SPD is the junior partner of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) [party website], Chancellor Angela Merkel's grand coalition government, which would require the SPD's support as a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both the Bundesrat and Bundestag, the two houses of the German parliament. Bild has local coverage.

A law permitting the German air force to shoot down hijacked planes [JURIST report] was overturned as being unconstitutional [JURIST report] last February on grounds that the government lacks the right to take the lives of passengers in an attempt to save lives on the ground. Deutsche Presse-Agentur has more.

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